Ammonia Leak Threatens California Campers

May 20, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Click here to watch a video, courtesy of KSBY-TV, San Luis Obispo, on the following story.

Emergency officials have lifted evacuation orders and warnings after an ammonia leak on Thursday (May 19) at the Coastal Dunes RV Park Park in Oceano, Calif., KSBY-TV, San Luis Obispo, reported

Crews were called out to the 900 block of Pacific Boulevard at about 8 am. It all started when a park employee called 911 reporting a strong smell of ammonia at the maintenance facility.

Eddy Peiffer, camper, said, “This morning an officer woke us up by knocking on the door and saying we might have to be evacuated because of some spill.”

Eddy and Angela Peiffer were among the 50 campers warned at the Coastal Dunes RV Park that they might have to evacuate. Peiffer said, “I already had a headache when I woke up so I knew something was going on.”

Lynn Henriksen, park ranger, said, “I’m five months pregnant. So yes, I feel safe. Accidents happen all the time and nothing surprises me working at campgrounds. I’m not really too concerned at this point.”

The concern was a 4 1/2-foot pressurized cylinder found leaking ammonia. CAL FIRE says it was discovered behind that maintenance facility by state parks a couple of weeks ago. They were working to dispose of the cylinder when it started leaking. Battalion Chief Phil Veneris, CAL FIRE, said, “Ammonia is used in a variety of commercial and agricultural businesses. I’m not really sure what type of ammonia or how it got there.”

Numerous local agencies responded to the ammonia leak including the San Luis Obispo Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team. To take care of the situation, crews diluted the ammonia which reportedly is a common and safe practice.


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